Why protein is important for you | Which is protein source best for your personal goal? | Whey protein | Plant protein | Collagen protein | What to look for when buying a protein supplement | Conclusion
A high-quality protein powder is more popular than ever, but they're also being used by a broader range of people than ever. A post-workout shake isn't just for a bodybuilders’ road to a competition. Everyone can benefit from adequate protein and in every age range. In this blog, we explain why it's important to supplement with protein and which protein source is best for which goal.
Why protein is important for you
Although most people use a protein powder post-workout to aid in muscle recovery and growth, it can be incredibly beneficial as an anti-aging supplement. This is because as you get older (starting from age 30!) [*]. your muscle tissues start to break down – also known as sarcopenia – and here’s where a protein powder comes in. In addition to training, and specifically resistance training [*], it can help maintain muscle mass in older adults [*]. So how much protein do you need for this? This depends on how much you weigh. The general calculation is 1-2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight.
But protein is so much more than only muscle related. Besides the structural component of muscle and other tissues in the body, proteins are used to produce hormones and enzymes [*]. Animal and plant protein supplements have been well studied for various health conditions.
Protein powder – Which is best for your personal goal?
To determine which protein powder is best for your personal goal, we need to explain the concept of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of a protein - which are divided into essential and non-essential amino acids. Non-essential amino acids your body makes itself. Essential amino acids (EAAs), as the name implies, are essential because they cannot be produced by your body. Food is the only source of them. Complete protein supplements contain all nine essential amino acids, giving you a balanced mix of amino acids.
Individually, EAAs act on different pathways in the body. Each of the protein supplements below contains one to three essential amino acids more, less or in higher amounts than the others and is therefore suitable for a different purpose. Let's take a look at what the best protein sources are for your personal goal.
Whey protein: exercise, physical performance and immunity
Whey has a higher biological value than plant proteins, meaning it contains all the amino acids your body needs. Its complete amino acid profile makes whey a high-quality protein. Whey contains the highest amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These are three essential amino acids that are particularly important for muscle growth and training performance [*], [*].
Whey protein has a bunch of other special properties, such as promoting glutathione production, our body's own antioxidant, and it contains some special immunological ingredients that mother milk also contains, provided the whey protein is not too processed. You can read more about that here.
NoordCode Pure Whey is a whey protein concentrate derived from organic Alpine cows grazing in pastures all year round. The whey protein is processed at low temperatures for 15 seconds and without irradiation to preserve the glutathione-promoting components as much as possible. Pure Whey is formulated without additives. It contains only one ingredient and that is 100% grass-fed and organic whey protein concentrate.
Plant protein: a plant-focused lifestyle
For the vegetarians and vegans among us, as well as those with lactose intolerance, hemp, brown rice and pea protein are well-researched sources of protein. With the right combination from more than one source, plant proteins contain all nine essential amino acids. Combined, they come close to protein from an animal sources. [*] NoordCode goes a step further by adding enzymes to Pure Plant Protein. Studies show that this increases bioavailability and makes the plant protein almost equivalent to an animal counterpart. [*]
NoordCode Pure Plant Protein is a blend of pea, hemp and brown rice protein. The combination of these three makes it a complete, balanced profile of essential amino acids. The added enzymes ensure its bioavailability is similar to Pure Whey.
So you can use Pure Plant Protein for the same purposes as a whey protein.
Also, Pure Plant Protein contains MCT powder, which gives instant energy.
Collagen protein: glycine
About a third of all the protein in your body is collagen. It is found in your bones, muscles, skin, intestines, tendons, heart, eyes, brain and between your cells. As you age, you lose collagen. That's why you want to replenish it with nutrition. And with a collagen supplement, you can be sure you're getting enough.
Keep in mind that collagen is not a primary protein source - nor a good protein substitute! The number of BCAAs in collagen are very low. You take collagen purely the amino acid glycine that offers so many health benefits.
NoordCode Pure Collagen comes from French grass-fed cows. The hydrolysis process preserves its nutritional value and makes this a highly absorbable protein. Its purity and optimal protein ratio have been tested in an independent laboratory. Pure Collagen contains just one ingredient and that is 100% collagen. It is formulated without added flavourings, sweeteners and preservatives.
What to look for when buying a protein powder
After you have selected your personal choice of protein, there are other things to consider when selecting a protein powder.
Look for clean ingredients
Sweeteners, artificial flavors, food coloring, fillers and thickeners are often used in a protein powder, some containing more of them than others. There are exceptions, but generally you want to look for protein powders with fewer ingredients on the label, or make sure you understand what the ingredients are.
Choose a protein powder that is safe
If you buy from a European manufacturer, you can almost be sure that what is on the label will match what is in the supplement. This is due to the very strict regulations of the European Union. And if you are in doubt, always ask for third party testing done for contaminants, heavy metals and amino acid scores.
With a proper combination of sources and added enzymes for increased bioavailability, plant proteins may provide similar benefits as protein from animal sources. The completeness, digestibility and bioavailability of amino acids, is leading, whether from a plant or animal source. [*] Essential amino acids act on different pathways in the body. Each of the protein powders discussed contain one to three essential amino acids more, less or in higher amounts than the others and you should choose one that is most suitable for your personal needs. When choosing a plant or animal protein powder, always look for a pure formula with as few ingredients as possible.
Does one of our high quality protein supplements appeal to you? Then go to our webshop for more information or to order directly.